When it comes time to build a website for your small business, trendy design and flashy gimmicks will only get you so far. The most effective way to engage and retain customers is to write effective content that tells the story of your brand, while simultaneously conveying your unique value proposition.
If it’s this easy, why isn’t everyone doing it? Truth is, it’s not. Creating effective content for your website that delivers the right message is a difficult task. It takes careful planning and works best when viewed holistically alongside your overall website design and brand’s tone of voice.
Write Effective Content for Your Website
As any writer will tell you, the hardest words to write are often the first ones. Fortunately, with a little careful planning, this process can be made relatively painless. Make sure to always consider a user-friendly online experience. Write in clear, concise language that conveys the message you want, while also promoting your company in the best possible light.
What is the Objective?
Start by clearly defining your objective. Are you trying to convey your expertise on a subject? Providing general information about your product/service? Or, are you trying to encourage clients to contact you directly to arrange a consultation?
The objective you set out with should be your top of mind consideration. It will guide your website’s content, style and tone. Say, for example, you are running a consultancy business. For an industry like this, it’s vital to outline your expertise, what makes you qualified to perform the role, links to past work and references, mentions of awards or distinctions you’ve received, or memberships in any trade associations/governing boards. If you can demonstrate how thoroughly you have mastered a topic, it will go a long way to convincing potential clients to work with you.
Know Your Audience
Littering sentences with complex words does not make a good writer. Instead, a good writer is keenly aware of their audience and the tone needed to make a connection with them. Some of the best writers know to keep things simple. In doing so, they keep their audience engaged and don’t alienate them with unnecessarily advanced sentences. Consider that some of your potential clients might speak English as a second language. Keeping things simple will help them to understand what you do, and why they should do business with you. Similarly, it’s important to understand any cultural sensitivities your potential audience might have. Steer clear of things they might find offensive. While edgy might work for a tiny minority of brands, it’s not considered best practice.
What’s Your Point?
One doesn’t need to be a disciple of Simon Sinek to understand the importance of why you should write effective content. Communicating your unique value proposition should be another core aspect of your content strategy. Explain in as simple terms possible what it is you do that nobody else does. Try to put yourself in your clients’ shoes. What are the key questions they might ask about your product/service. Your website content should effectively answer these questions, while keeping unnecessary information to a bare minimum.
Make Key Information Prominent
In journalism circles, the inverted news pyramid is a metaphor used to describe how information should be prioritized within an article. The idea states the most important information and noteworthy messaging should be placed at the start of your article. If a reader is interested in digging into more granular detail, it will be contained further on in the piece. While this concept mainly applies to journalism, it can be borrowed to help in creating effective content for your website. For each page on your site, think of what the most important information is on that page. Make sure it’s presented early on in any copy you write, so customers can’t help but notice it.
All of your efforts will be for naught if you fail to build credibility with your audience. Be honest, don’t mislead your readers. Avoid making any incorrect statements and illustrate your expertise by using an authoritative tone of voice. Be enthusiastic about your product and industry at large. The more persuasive, honest and enthusiastic you are, the more likely your audience will respond by opening their wallets.